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 Montpelier Magazine

Pay attention in statistics class

'Basically, I have to please 18,000 customers,' says Fredrick Bean ('79), city manager of Carlisle, Pa. His customers are residents who 'expect quality service no matter if it is code enforcement, police protection or street cleaning.'

A political science major, Bean began a career in public administration as city manager of Mercersburg, Pa., from 1984 to 1989. He moved to Carlisle in 1989, when he was appointed assistant borough manager. In 1994, he was promoted to city manager. 'I left Mercersburg under great terms, but I wanted to manage a larger city,' says Bean. 'Carlisle has a vibrant downtown, a beautiful historic district, and it's close to Washington and Baltimore.'

The Carlisle Borough, county seat of Cumberland County, works in a council/ manager form of government, with seven council members. The council sets policies, manages the budget and works hand-in-hand with the city manager, who acts as chief administrator. Bean implements council policies, oversees personnel, controls financial management and prepares the annual budget.

Bean oversees the $14-million budget, supervises a workforce of 90 employees and maintains the borough's mission of 'Excellence in Community Service.' He has helped bring to downtown a new hotel and the borough's first parking garage. A 2002 survey conducted by the city showed 96 percent of residents thought Carlisle was a 'great community to live in.'

'The course I took in statistics at JMU actually benefited me in this case,' jokes Bean. 'Who would have thought?'

Bean has served as president of the Association of Pennsylvania Municipal Managers and Carlisle's First Night celebration. He is a board member of Carlisle's Downtown Association and also coaches his daughter's soccer team, while fund-raising for the local YMCA.

Settled by Scots-Irish immigrants in 1751, Carlisle is located in the south central part of Pennsylvania. The city has a successful recreation department and strong education component as it is home to Dickinson College and Penn State's Law School.

'Being a sports junkie, I especially like the parks and recreation part of my job,' says Bean, who plays golf and tennis. 'Car-lisle is compared to a Norman Rockwell painting. Great schools, neighborhood parks, restaurants and a nice downtown.'

And some folks lead a Norman Rock-well life, like Bean, who is married to his high school sweetheart, Ann.

Learn more about Bean's neck of the woods at


Janelle DiOrio ('03)